July 26, 2006


Gay-marriage ruling could rock Supreme Court races (DAVID AMMONS, July 26, 2006, AP)

The deeply divided Washington Supreme Court's decision to retain the state ban on gay marriage may roil the already volatile court elections this fall.

Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, who is under attack from the right and from the building industry and others, joined the shaky 5-4 majority. That puts him on the side of public opinion, according to the polls, but might alienate some of his progressive backers, analysts said Wednesday. Alexander is opposed by attorney John Groen.

Two other justices up for re-election this fall, Susan Owens and Tom Chambers, were among the four dissenters and would have thrown out the state's gay-marriage ban, called the Defense of Marriage Act.

Owens already was considered vulnerable and faces a strong challenge from state Sen. Stephen Johnson, R-Kent. Chambers is considered a safe bet for re-election and the case isn't expected to hurt him much.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 26, 2006 8:41 PM
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